Technology brings ICPA delegates together


Bourke ICPA foundation member Wally Mitchell, had the privilege of co-opening ICPA’s 50th Federal Conference, thanks to today’s technology. Photo supplied

The Isolated Children’s Parents Association celebrated its 50th anniversary last week, but like so many other events this year, it was a combined face-to-face / virtual get together, with technology overcoming border closures as well as distance.

Bourke’s Wally Mitchell co-opened the 50th Federal Conference of ICPA together with Queensland ICPA Patron and Federal Life Member, Patricia Mitchell.

As a foundation member, the first president of the inaugural Bourke branch and first Federal President, it was a fitting honour for Wal Mitchell, who predicted that technology was the key to education.

The significance was not lost on Wally Mitchell, as once again, technology made the golden anniversary possible.

Branches from almost every state except Victoria took part in the digital conference.

Wally said he was amazed at the advances in technology and the continued dedication of the members.

“When I opened the conference, I said how I was very pleased at the enthusiasm at a difficult time and the technology that was being used,” Wal said.

“I told them when we first started 50 years ago, my co-founder Pat Edgley and I used to discuss the issues on party line phones. She lived at Ford’s Bridge, and I was at Louth and the old lady at the post office would leave us to chatter on after the office closed.

“Technology is so important to education in isolated areas, and we are fortunate people are taking advantage of that and making it so much better than we ever imagined.

“It’s how we will go forward, but only because it is used. The opportunity to use that technology gainfully has been marvellous,” he said.

Wally said he was optimistic about the future of the ICPA because of the ability of parents across the decades to adapt to change.

“The life of it is totally dependent on the parents of the kids who need it, and the body has been able to provide access to education for remote area kids and they are keeping up with trends in technology,” he said.


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